Sunday, 19 June 2016



I can hear your laughter and see your smile..
and see you tilt your head to one side
I watched your eyes light up 
as he entered the room 
and see that quick glance you shared.
What a couple you were
so happy in each other's company.
You always had such pride in your family
and delighted in all they did. 

Still, I remember you as a girl
with that lilting laugh 
and that easy warmth you happily shared.
You never pushed me aside
or told me to go away.
Rather you knelt with me 
as I looked for that piece of broken glass
in Nona's path, we called it a clock.

You helped me to pick fruit from the trees
and suck honey from nasturtiums
and even played tea parties with me,
though I was so small. 
You understood my love of words
and gave me my first ever dictionary
(I treasure it still) 
and a bluebird necklace.

We were more than cousins
we were friends and confidants..
You were my little big sister
always supportive, never judgemental
We laughed, we cried, 
we shared family news
and solved the problems of the world.

Thank you for your guidance
your caring and sharing
and for being the girl and the lady I so admired..
Rest in peace, sweet Stella..
you will live on forever in the hearts 
of all who knew and loved you..
We will hear your name and smile
'Of course, I knew her well!'

(c) Crissouli  March 8, 2016


Image courtesy of Pixabay  free use


Not for him the comfort
of a warm, cosy hearth
on a chill autumn night..
rather the deceitful friendship
of a cheap flagon
unopened - full of promise
emptied - full of nothing.

Few were his hopes, or wishes
or dreams.
Cold wet grass doesn't lead
to aspirations
or thoughts of grandeur..
rather to chilblains
and eternal desolation.

Tinned soup, cold,
his daily sustenance
at least for the first few days
after the fortnightly pension
and then -
whatever he could scrounge 
wherever he could find it.

The report was stark,
brutal, horrifying..
It came with our morning cuppa
we read it
shook our heads
and turned the page.

(c) Crissouli May 22, 1984

Saturday, 18 June 2016


I sit, listening to your voice
How warm and loving it sounds
even as you tell my small son
"Not like that, don't do that.."
interspersed with praise
as he struggles through the intricacies
of the organ, much larger than the one he's used to.

We take these occasions
a simple gathering of family
so much for granted.
You, and Dad, instruct gently
but firmly, while my younger brother,
the owner of the organ, shivers, quietly.
In the background, the voices mingle
each with their own part to play
in this family theatre.

For so long, I haven't heard your voice
we no longer have the same gatherings
though we do gather, without you.
Our family is still just that
but how we miss you
your presence, the sound of your voice
and how grateful we are
for the memories of a simple family gathering
recorded on a cassette.

 (c) Crissouli June 4, 1983

Sunday, 24 April 2016



As the cold grey blanket of dawn lifted
he shivered, just as he had so long ago. 
He couldn't get the noises out of his head
nor could he forget the smoke or the screams.
Yet, today, his eyes were filled not with smoke, 
but with tears.
They rolled silently down his cheeks
as memories flooded back.

He started to shake, just a little
then she took his hand in hers, 
warm and comforting..
he felt a little easier. 
"Grandad, all these people are here because of you,
because of your mates, because of all you did for us."

She led him to the memorial 
and they laid their poppies, 
then, as they turned to leave,
the small crowd parted and one,
raised their candles in salute.
The last of their ANZACS 
passed peacefully that evening
to rejoin his unit. 

 (c)Crissouli 24 April, 2016

Image free use courtesy Pixabay

Saturday, 23 April 2016



If he closed his eyes, he could see her still
her soft brown hair teased by a gentle breeze
her smiling eyes, glistening with tears 
as she kissed him farewell.
He'd taken her hand and touched the shiny gold ring
he'd placed there just twenty four hours earlier.
He'd reassured her that it'd be over soon
he'd be home before she knew it.
He promised to bring her a present, whatever she'd like.
"Just a flower, something to show me where you've been,
nothing more."

They found him in a field of poppies
one perfect flower tucked into his pocket, 
along with a half written letter...
"I'm coming home..."

© Crissouli April 23, 2016

In memory of all who gave their future for ours.

Image Free use, courtesy of Pixabay

Wednesday, 17 February 2016



Reams of paper, maybe stacked precariously high
or neatly filed, in carefully labelled folders

"Notes of births, of marriages, now what year did he die?"

Coloured pages, inserted here and there
notepads and photos, pencils, clips and pens

"Really must get organised, this desk gets too much glare."

Bookmarks noted, from one website to another
two monitors make it easier, just scroll a little more 

"Mmm, that census looks interesting, is that another brother?"

Dinner won't be long then, or so it ought to be
lots of scribbled notes now, then a happy dance..
She's off, gathering yesterdays, for her family tree.

                                                                                (c)Crissouli 17th Feb, 2016